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  • Nicole J. Zuvich

Estate planning for families with children with special needs

Updated: Sep 27

Many families in the Garden City area have a child with special needs. When you have a child with special needs it is crucial that you plan for their future. Careful estate planning is critical to ensure a special needs child receives government benefits along without foregoing family support. Below are some basic planning tips to help parents protect their children with special needs.

  1. Designate guardians and directives. If your child is a minor, you should have directives in place specifying who should take care of your child if you’re not able to because of some unforeseen event. You should also have documents prepared naming a guardian for your child in case something happens to you.

  2. Special needs trust. A special needs trust is an estate planning tool that allows you fund the needs of your child without negatively impacting their eligibility for government benefits. If you have a child with special needs, a special needs trust is very important.

  3. Open an ABLE account. The Achieving a Better Life Experience is similar to a 529 college savings plan. Each year, a person can deposit up to $15,000 in this account before they are 26 years old. The account grows tax-free and can pay qualified expenses to maintain or improve the child’s quality of life. An ABLE account can also receive contributions from parents and other relatives who would like to contribute.

Having a child with special needs can be a challenge for families but spending the time to plan for their future can put a parent’s mind at ease that their child will be well-cared for for the rest of their lives. An attorney who specializes in estate planning can help a family with their estate planning needs and would be happy to explain all the options and determine the best plan for you and your family.

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